Vidarbha Cricket Association arbitrates without payment since December
NAGPUR: With coronavirus-induced blockade hurting the economy, arbitrators work to Vidarbha Cricket Association ( VCA ) have also been victims of depression. The sports body already took a few months to pay the referee's fee, which they expected at the end of this financial year. Now the blockade has made things worse for them.
VCA delayed paying many umpires their fees, for the matches played in 2019, till March this year. To make matters worse, all the sporting activities came to halt post the nationwide lockdown. Since March none of the umpires have received any part of their dues.
Some of the VCA panel umpires they were fortunate to have received part of their dues on December 12. Similarly, a handful of arbitrators who did not participate in the panel, those who passed the arbitration exam in December, received part of their fees in January. Others were told that the fees would be paid soon. Now, all arbitrators, both those who belong to the panel and those who do not belong to the panel, are on the same page and awaiting payment.
Umpires, whose only source of earning is match fees, are the worst-hit by this delay. When TOI contacted one of the umpires, he said, “We had approved VCA regarding the dues, but our request fell on deaf ears.”
After the conclusion of Guzder League two-day tournament on March 8, the umpires were expecting to get paid. It is learnt that VCA wanted to complete the Guzder League One-day, by March 31, before paying the dues. However, the One-day tournament was halted after just five matches due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Since then it has been a long wait for the referees. The association is moving at a snail's pace, putting a financial burden on its referees.
Most of the full-time umpires are already facing hardship. Major source of their income comes from VCA tournaments that are organized during the season. They also earn few bucks from the inter-club summer tournaments, which have been all but canceled this year.
“Some of us did not get paid in December 2019. So, the pressure was already there. Now, with no summer tournaments being played due to the lockdown, things have gone from bad to worse for us. It is a double blow. If VCA makes some payment in May, it will be of great help, ”said a VCA Panel umpire.
TOI tried to contact VCA president Anand Jaiswal but he did not respond to the queries.